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Stroke awareness campaign

A new campaign is being launched this Christmas to raise awareness of aphasia - the condition which leaves some stroke survivors struggling to communicate.

Around 11,000 people have a stroke every year in Wales and one third of these will be left with aphasia.

According to a survey from the Stroke Association, many sufferers say regaining the ability to wish loved ones a Merry Christmas, would be the perfect gift, as Hannah Thomas reports.

Thousands left with speech problems following stroke

A Christmas campaign by the Stroke Association is aiming to highlight the frustration of thousands left with communication and speech problems after a stroke.

The condition is known as aphasia and affects over 3,600 stroke sufferers in Wales each year.

My speech was really affected - at first I couldn't say my own name. I also lost the ability to read, which came as a serious blow as I was an avid reader and was studying for a masters degree.

I could understand what people said to me but they couldn't always understand what I was saying. This was very frustrating. The hardest part was not being able to communicate with my four sons who were patient and understanding but very upset at the situation.

– Gareth Davies, 51


Stroke sufferers' biggest wish: To say 'Merry Christmas'

A campaign highlighting the devastating effects a stroke can have on communication and speech has revealed that sufferers' biggest wish is simply to be able to say 'Merry Christmas'.

The condition, known as aphasia, can affect people's ability to speak, read, write or understand things.

Around 11,000 people in Wales have a stroke each year - and one third will have aphasia.

As part of the Stroke Association's 'All I Want For Christmas' campaign, almost 800 stroke survivors with aphasia were asked for their Christmas wishes.

  • One-third would like to be able to say 'Merry Christmas'
  • A quarter would like to ask what presents their loved ones want for Christmas
  • Four in 10 reported that Christmas was worse for them since their stroke